Death Stranding, developed by Kojima Productions, is an action game and was released in November 2019. The game has got many praises and won many awards including The Game Award for Best Game Score and Best Game Direction. This left the players to carve for more. The first game in the strand genre, Death Stranding, can still be improvised in Death Stranding 2. The sequel could be built upon the foundation set by Death Stranding and improve the latest genre. Although some of the rumors seem in the direction of Kojima’s new production, it still left a question mark on the future of Death Stranding 2.
Releasing of the game
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The development cycle for this game is long. During Death Stranding production, Kojima announced his new production with Sony. The title was announced in 2016, but the game was released in 2019. The fans had to wait for 4 years in total for its release. However, in his statement “starting from zero” could mean even a longer wait. That comment can be emphasized as a new storyline with new characters.
It can even mean a new engine. Decima Engine, used in Death Stranding, has also been used for older games like Until Dawn and Horizon Zero Dawn. Therefore, a new sequel would require a new engine considering that it will also be released on a next-generation console. It will require a learning curve and might add a year or two to its development cycle. It may be pushed again if Kojima would have already been working on a new project because it seems he would prefer to work on one project at a time.
When Kojima first expressed interest in a sequel to Death Stranding, he stated that a new title would be “starting from zero”. Just like Metal Gear Solid, with each of its titles, Kojima added new features, elements, and ideas. It makes sense that he wants to add new gameplay elements and innovative ideas in its sequel. Death Stranding 2 is likely to be created on the things players saw in Death Stranding. He would take the theme of connection and might build an entirely new storyline with new characters and locations. Although it would be a sequel yet a separate entity in the franchise.
In a tweet posted last year, Kojima said he was discussing his “new title” with character artist Yoji Shinikawa and discussed “the setting for each character, the background, the world, the color, the characteristics, the roles, the images, ideas, and keywords”. In the second tweet, he posted an image or a blueprint of a vehicle with the brand name ‘Bridges’, the company featured in Death Stranding.
— French Stranding (@FrenchStranding) June 27, 2020
But, on this, he clarified, “I’m always thinking about ideas as I’m working on games. These aren’t major plans, but just fragments of new ideas.” It is just a reminder that it takes a lot of experimentation and ideas and not every sketch would make it to the final product.
Kojima and Sony always have a special relationship, seeing most of his games as Playstation exclusives. Even Death Stranding Kojima announced that Death Stranding was a console exclusive game on PS4. Unexpectedly, it didn’t sell well including some of Sony’s blockbuster titles like God of War or Marvel’s Spider-Man. Acknowledging the underwhelming sales of the game in an interview during Summer Game Fest last year, Kojima said, “I’m not a prophet, but if I was, I probably would have created a game that would sell more.”
Recent rumors suggest that Sony rejected Kojima for the next game. It could be because of the lack of universal appeal of Death Stranding or the company’s unwillingness to invest in new IP. Moreover, Kojima and PlayStation’s future may seem uncertain.
It should be said that the game has sold quite well after its release on PC.
When Playstation is distancing itself from Kojima productions, there are some rumors about the collaboration of Xbox and Kojima. It started with the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer seemingly teasing Xbox and Kajima collaboration. Meanwhile, game journalist Jeff Grubb suggested that Xbox is in talks with Kojima to publish his next game.
Furthermore, Death Stranding 2 on Xbox does not make sense until Kojima finds a way to release Death Stranding on Xbox devices. Although Kojima Productions is an independent company, the terms and conditions might restrict them from releasing the game on devices other than Playstation. If Death Stranding does make its way to Xbox and might release a sequel too, then it might give a backslash to the Playstation community. Hence, lead the uncertainty of the Death Stranding 2.